LII Newsletter Archive
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In January 2010, the LII Newsletter was renamed
"The Link: The Official Newsletter of the ipl2" and
was published on the ipl2 WordPress Blog.
Links listed within these archived pages are not maintained.
This week's round-up features sinkholes, asparagus, acid rain, immigration, podcasting, petroleum reserves, federal jobs, voting methods, suntans, mold, Rembrandt, Nepal, the new ISBN, evaluating health news, and a nifty site called Worldmapper. Bon appetit from librarians Karen, Wendy, Pat, Maria, Jennifer, Charlotte, and Tom.
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We've been analysing searches on lii.org in preparation for selecting a new search engine. Some of today's additions, such as sites on acid rain, are in direct response to queries on our site. It's a priority that our new search engine, to be selected in June, will make it easy for us to see what you're looking for. Your needs are first with us!
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The Conference Board: Consumer Confidence
Provides current U.S. consumer attitudes about purchasing intentions. Updated monthly. Includes a chart showing consumer confidence for the past several months, and links to related material. The full reports are available for a fee. From a membership organization that disseminates "knowledge about management and the marketplace to help businesses strengthen their performance and better serve society."
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21347
"Learn how deposit insurance works and whether the [Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation] FDIC insures your deposits." Features a guide to the types of investments that are FDIC-insured (for up to $100,000, generally, and to $250,000 for certain retirement accounts) and those that are not insured (such as mutual funds), a bank look-up tool, general investment tips (such as looking for "Not FDIC Insured" disclosure), and related consumer materials. From the FDIC.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21337
Federal Classification and Job Grading Systems
"This website provides Federal classification and job grading information that is used to determine the pay plan, series, title, and grade for most work in the Federal Government." Standards and guides are listed under "White Collar Positions" and "Trade, Craft, and Labor Positions." Also includes draft standards, classification guidance, and links to related occupational materials. From the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21305
This site provides annotated links to educational materials "from across the spectrum of federal agencies that deal with financial issues and markets." Some of the topics include budgeting, taxes, credit, financial planning, home ownership, privacy, fraud, retirement planning, and small business. In English and Spanish. From the Financial Literacy and Education Commission, which was established by Title V of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21209
The Flamenco Search Interface Project
A scholarly site about faceted search, which promises better organization of search results through offering categories, or facets, in result sets. Flamenco is designed to allow users "to move through large information spaces in a flexible manner without feeling lost." Includes publications, tutorials, downloadable software, and live, interactive demos. From the University of California, Berkeley, School of Information.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/20714
Podcasting 101 for K-12 Librarians
This 2006 article provides an introduction to podcasting, and looks at its applications in school libraries. Includes definitions, reasons to use podcasts, steps to creating your own podcasts, further reading, and podcasting resources (podcast content, directories, and recording software). From Esther Kreider Eash, a director of libraries and technology integration; in Computers in Libraries magazine.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21300
Angus Reid Global Scan: Election Tracker
This site "monitors democratic conditions around the world, by reviewing background information, assessing the latest campaign news and events, describing trends in voting intention, and reporting on the outcome of a particular ballot." From Angus Reid Consultants, a polling company.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21309
Citizens for Approval Voting
Website for an organization that promotes approval voting. "Approval Voting is exactly like the plurality system that is generally used in America today except for one twist: Instead of voting for any single candidate, Approval Voting allows you the option of voting for any number of candidates for a given office. The candidate who collects the most votes wins." Includes a discussion of the potential benefits of this voting system.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21315
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve: History, Perspectives, and Issues
April 2006 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report about the establishment and operation of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), which was authorized by the U.S. Congress "to help prevent a repetition of economic dislocation caused by the 1973-1974 Arab oil embargo." Topics include fill rates, drawdown options, and the SPR and Hurricanes Ivan, Katrina, and Rita. Opens directly into a PDF document. Provided by the U.S. diplomatic mission to Italy.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21345
Virtual Tour of the CIA: "Kryptos" Sculpture
Overview of this sculpture, located at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarters, that is inscribed with "several enigmatic messages, each written in a different code. The sculpture continues to be a source of pleasure and mystery for Agency employees with a few employees taking the challenge to 'break the code.'" Features a photo of the sculpture, the transcribed code, and an essay about the sculpture and attempts to solve the puzzle. From the CIA.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21339
This site explains how votes are interpreted when one political candidate does not win a majority in an election. Topics addressed include plurality, run-offs, and the Borda method (named after 18th century Jean-Charles de Borda), a ranking system which assigns a certain number of points to each place. Includes examples. From the Washington State University Department of Mathematics.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21314
American Cancer Society: Asian Language Materials
This page provides cancer fact sheets in English, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. It also includes annotated links to other consumer health websites that contain Asian language documents and material of interest to Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. From the American Cancer Society.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21090
This brief piece discusses the concern that eating asparagus makes urine "smell funny." Discusses the cause (a sulfur compound called mercaptan, "also found in rotten eggs, onions, garlic, and in the secretions of skunks"), the role of genetic makeup, and the nutritional benefits of asparagus. From a registered dietitian.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21323
Information About Suntan Products, Sunscreens, and Tanning
Collection of regulatory notices and other documents about sun safety, covering sunscreens, tanning pills, tanning accelerators, sunless tanning booths, cosmetics, and related products. Includes links to tanning material from other government agencies. From the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21329
Sunbeds, Tanning and UV Exposure
This March 2005 fact sheet discusses the health consequences of using artificial tanning sunbeds such as skin cancer, skin aging, eye damage, sunburn reactions, and childhood ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure. The document advocates government regulation of commercial sunbeds, and lists groups for whom indoor tanning is not recommended (such as children and people with a large number of moles). From the World Health Organization (WHO).
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21330
Growing instructions for asparagus, "one of the first vegetables ready to harvest in the spring." Covers planting, care, harvesting, problems (asparagus beetle and asparagus rust), selection and storage, preparation and serving, and preservation. From the University of Illinois Extension.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21318
Migration Policy Institute (MPI)
Analyses of "migration and refugee policies at the local, national, and international levels" from an "independent, non-partisan, non-profit think-tank." Find publications on U.S. immigration policy, U.S.-Mexico relations, European migration, temporary worker programs, refugees, border security, and other migration topics. Includes news releases and links to news stories.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21182
Are You Ready for ISBN-13?
"On January 1, 2007, the book industry will begin using 13 digit ISBNs [International Standard Book Numbers] to identify all books in supply chain," rather than 10-digit numbers. The site explains why this change is being made, and provides a free online tool to convert an ISBN-10 to an ISBN-13. Also find related material for publishers and librarians.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21348
Health News Review
This site reviews the quality of health articles published in magazines and newspapers and health stories on television news. Journalists and health professionals rate stories for accuracy, balance, honesty, and completeness. The site lists rating criteria and contributors' credentials. Searchable, or browse by publication date or media source. Includes explanations of concepts such as absolute versus relative risk. From a University of Minnesota journalism professor and the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21298
Publications from this federal office "responsible for developing, analyzing, and disseminating statistical information needed to assess the effects of immigration in the United States." Includes the Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, demographic profiles on legal permanent residents (LPR) and naturalized citizens, population estimates, maps, and working papers and special reports. This office is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21312
California Asparagus Commission: Consumer Information
Consumer materials about this vegetable, including recipes (such as for roasted asparagus, asparagus guacamole, and sesame asparagus salad), selection and cooking tips, nutritional profile, a FAQ, and a page for children. From a marketing organization for California-grown asparagus.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21320
El Clamor Publico Collection, 1855-1859
A searchable collection of the complete issues of El Clamor Publico, "the first Spanish-language newspaper in California after the American occupation." Often featuring "strong political views generally in support of the Mexicanos," this Los Angeles weekly also published poetry and literature. From the Digital Archive, University of Southern California (USC).
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/1726
National Forests in California
This map shows the location of all of the national forests in California, with links to pages for the individual forests. Forest profiles include news and updates about the forests, such as land management plans, forest land sales, wildflower viewing opportunities, weed management, and closures. From the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21344
Kalakala: The World's First Streamlined Vessel
A site for preservation efforts for the Kalakala, an Art Deco ferry in service in Puget Sound in Washington state from 1935 through the mid-1960s, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. Find an illustrated timeline, description and virtual tour of the vessel, and materials about restoration activities. From the Kalakala Alliance Foundation.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21210
Northwest Government Information Network (NGIN)
Collection of resources for documents librarians and others interested in government documents in the Pacific Northwest. Highlights include lists of federal depositories (for Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington state), tools for evaluating depository item selections, and a list of census and patent collections in Washington state. Includes a listserv for NGIN members and meeting minutes.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21004
Surfline: Pacific Northwest
Describes surfing spots along the coast of Washington state and Oregon, such as Florence, Westport, Seaside, Long Beach Peninsula, and Newport. In addition to surfing information, find places to eat, other things to do in the area, and surf shops. Includes an overview of surfing in the Northwest. From Surfline, a surfing travel directory.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21157
Iraq Memory Foundation
The goal of this Baghdad-based foundation is to provides a "view of the inner workings of the Ba'thist institutions of repression and social control that dominated ... Iraqi life between 1968 and 2003." The site includes a description of projects and selected items from collections. In Arabic and English. The foundation is an outgrowth of the Iraq Research and Documentation Project (IRDP) founded at the Center of Middle East Studies at Harvard University.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21181
National Treasures From Australia's Great Libraries
Online companion to this collection that draws together over 170 items from Australia's National, State and Territory libraries. Images from the collection are accompanied by essays on Australian history, migration, natural history, industry, war, culture, and more. Features digitized manuscripts and diary pages, photos, maps, and illustrations. From the National Library of Australia.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/19900
Nepal: Maoist Insurgency
News and analysis about the political turmoil in Nepal in 2006, in which "the confrontation between an increasingly isolated palace and increasingly militant mainstream activists has benefited the Maoists," who "have sustained an intense military campaign concentrating on well planned small urban attacks." Includes a brief history of the crisis, and links to news, reports, maps, and international statements. From the International Crisis Group (ICG).
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21307
Worldmapper: The World as You've Never Seen It Before
This site features cartograms, maps showing global regions "re-sized according to the subject of interest." Some of the many map subjects include births, total population, children, elderly, refugees, immigrants, tourism, transportation, and imports and exports. Maps are available in a printable poster format, and are accompanied by explanatory text and data files. A collaboration among the University of Sheffield (England), University of Michigan, and other groups.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21269
Clean Air Markets: Environmental Issues: Acid Rain
Introductory material about acid rain, "a broad term used to describe several ways that acids fall out of the atmosphere. A more precise term is acid deposition." Includes a discussion of how acid rain is caused by pollutants in the environment, how acid rain is measured, and what can be done to reduce acid rain. Also includes experiments for students. In English and Spanish. From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21331
The Environmental Literacy Council: Acid Rain
Overview of the phenomenon of acid rain, also known as acidic precipitation or acid deposition, which occurs "when sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere [from pollution] react with oxygen in the air to form sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and nitric acid (HNO)." Includes discussion about the effect of acid rain on aquatic ecosystems, plants, buildings, and human health. Also includes links to related sites.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21335
Geology Topics: Sinkholes
Documents and data about sinkholes, "one of many kinds of karst landforms, which include caves, disappearing streams, springs, and underground drainage systems. ... Karst is a generic term which refers to the characteristic terrain produced by erosional processes associated with the chemical weathering and dissolution of limestone or dolomite." Provides a FAQ, and a poster showing Florida's sinkholes and diagrams of sinkhole formation. Some material specific to Florida. From the Florida Geological Survey.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21308
National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP)
The purpose of this national network is "to collect data on the chemistry of precipitation for monitoring of ... long-term trends." Weekly samples are analyzed to learn acid rain (also known as "atmospheric deposition") content. The site features links to data and reports. The NADP is located at the Illinois State Water Survey, and is a cooperative program of federal, state, and non-governmental groups.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21332
Water Science For Schools: Sinkholes
Introduction to sinkholes, a geological occurrence "common where the rock below the land surface is limestone, carbonate rock, salt beds, or rocks that can naturally be dissolved by ground water circulating through them. As the rock dissolves, spaces and caverns develop underground." Features a map showing areas of the U.S. prone to sinkholes, and diagrams of types of sinkholes. From the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21306
ACLU: Immigrants' Rights
Policy statements and other material about the rights of immigrants, refugees and non-citizens in the U.S. Topics include asylum, detention, discrimination, workplace rights, and judicial review and court access. Includes legislative and legal documents, press releases, and position papers. Some documents available in Spanish. From the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21311
FairVote: IRV America
Website for an organization that advocates instant runoff voting (IRV) for elections in the U.S. Features an analysis of IRV and plurality election systems, the cost of runoff elections, and voter turnout issues. Also includes a FAQ about how IRV elections work, links to related legislation, animated teaching materials, and news about communities using IRV (such as San Francisco's ranked choice voting for supervisors in 2004). From the Center for Voting Democracy.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21319
This service allows you to catalog your personal library with user-defined "tags" such as "beach read" or "magical realism." You may keep your catalog private or let others see it, and you can search other's catalogs. Includes lists of top books and authors, and a blog. Free for up to 200 titles; there is a fee for unlimited use.
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21260
National Teacher Day
Overview of this unofficial observance in May honoring public school teachers for "the contributions they make to our lives." The site includes suggested activities for parents and students (such as cards and receptions), quotes about teaching, and downloadable posters. Includes information about joining the teaching profession. From the National Education Association (NEA).
LII Item: http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/21350
Thanks for reading LII New This Week!
Jennifer English, Liaison to Califa Library Group
Wendy Hyman, Senior Editor
Maria Brandt, Associate Editor
Charlotte Bagby, Senior Weeder